Conservation Principles

Conservation Principles are a way of showing how historic buildings can accommodate change successfully. Cadw has adopted the following six principles as planning guidance. They are:-

  1. Significant buildings will be managed to sustain their values
  2. Understanding the significance of historic buildings is vital
  3. The historic environment is a shared resource
  4. Everyone will be able to participate in sustaining the historic environment
  5. Decisions about change must be reasonable, transparent and consistent
  6. Documenting and learning from decisions is essential


Significance is a collective term for the sum of all the heritage values attached to a place, the building, the architecture and the story of that building. The idea of ‘significance’ lies at the core of conservation principles and by assessing significance we can set out a systematic and consistent approach to assessing the heritage values that can be ascribed to a place. These values can be grouped into four categories:

  1. Evidential value: the potential of a place to tell the story of past human activity, how the building has been extended or refitted.
  2. Historical value: the ways in which past people, events and aspects of life can be connected through a place to the present – a notable event or person, such a local revival or famous preacher.
  3. Aesthetic value: the ways in which people draw sensory and intellectual stimulation from a place, the special features of the building and how it sits within its setting.
  4. Communal value: the meanings of a place for the people who relate to it, or for whom it figures in their collective experience or memory.

Planning applications and Listed Buildings.

The following information should be submitted along with the completed application forms:

  1. An Ordnance Survey site plan to a scale of at least 1:1250.
  2. Context drawings to include elevations of any immediate adjacent buildings.
  3. Existing and proposed drawings to include plans, elevations, photographs, sections and as much supporting information as possible such as material specifications, joinery profiles, photographs etc.
  4. A Heritage Impact Assessment (for Listed Building Applications) analysing the significance of the building, its special features and its setting. It should  assess the potential impact of any changes and adapt the proposals to find the best way to meet your needs and those of your building.
  5. For more detailed guidance on what information you will need to submit with your application contact the Authority’s Planning Department.